Out of sight but most certainly not out of mind – that is the message being sent to around 100 RAF Lossiemouth servicemen and women who will be deployed away from base this Christmas.
The station commander Group Captain Mark Chappell joined members of the community support team at the base to wrap and despatch parcels to each of the ‘away’ team.
Items that form a normal Christmas stocking are included with socks, hats, toiletries and novelties – as well as packs of local shortbread supplied by Walkers of Aberlour.
With a nod to modern day living the RAF Lossiemouth Junior Ranks’ welfare fund has also provided each with an £8 telephone credit voucher – so ensuring that they have sufficient credit to phone home on Christmas Day.
The officer commanding Personnel Management, Squadron Leader Sarah Brewin, said: “It can be difficult being away from your family and friends for long periods at any time of the year.
“Forces personnel are aware that this is part of their job, but it can be particularly hard at Christmas. Our Community Support team have been providing these Christmas parcels for our Service personnel for two years now, and no matter how many people are deployed from RAF Lossiemouth we will continue to do this to remind them we are thinking of them.
“It’s important that both Service people away on deployment and their families left at home know that they are very much at the forefront of the Station’s thoughts, particularly at a time of the year when family and friends come together.
RAF personnel from Lossiemouth are deployed across the world, in USA, Canada, Falkland Islands and Cyprus as well as several countries in the Middle East.
Alongside the gifts from the Community Support Team each parcel will include a Christmas card from the station commander.
As part of a deployment support event, children of deployed personnel designed individual Christmas cards which have now been printed out for inclusion within the Station’s parcels.